Increasing number of Canadians support 'opt-out' system of organ donation, poll finds
Increasing organ donation in Alberta
VANCOUVER -- There has been a significant increase in support for an "opt-out" system of organ donation in Canada since last summer, according to a new survey.
Research Co. found 70 per cent of Canadians believe their province should "definitely" or "probably" implement what's known as active donor registration, which considers every adult to be an organ and tissue donor unless they specify otherwise.
That's up seven percentage points from another survey the polling company conducted in August 2019.
"Public support for active donor registration has increased markedly over the past year across Canada," Research Co. president Mario Canseco said in a news release.
"Sizeable majorities of Canadians in every region of the country would favour enacting this modification for organ and tissue donation after death in their own province."
It's unclear whether the global health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus has impacted people's views.
Pollsters found the most widespread support for active donor registration in Alberta, where 74 per cent of respondents were in favour of the system.
British Columbia was at the opposite end of the scale, but the "opt-out" registration was still supported by about two-thirds of respondents in that province.
Research Co. found younger people aged 18 to 34 more likely to believe in the system than any other demographic, at 75 per cent.
Some jurisdictions have already implemented active donor registration, including parts of Europe, where experts say it has led to substantial increases in donation rates.
Nova Scotia is implementing a similar system in January 2021, after unanimously passing its Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act. The province's policy will apply to residents aged 19 and older.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix has said his government will be watching the results of Nova Scotia's policy closely.
Statistics show 27 people died while waiting for a transplant in B.C. in 2018 alone.
Research Co.'s poll was conducted online from Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,000 Canadian adults. The results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.